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Bus operators raise concerns on crossing

Luisa Qiolevu
Friday, February 09, 2018

MANAGEMENT of bus companies in Labasa have called on the Fiji Roads Authority to raise low lying Irish crossings to prevent floods.

The bus operators say that flooded Irish crossings in Macuata is not new.

Dalip Chand and Sons Buses Ltd director Rohinil Chand said they had raised their concerns with the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) on many occasions.

"This has been an ongoing problem in the North and they (FRA)never seem to find any solution to stop these roads from continuously getting flooded," he claimed.

Mr Chand said it would be good if FRA raised the level of crossings and roads so it does not go underwater during heavy down pours.

"We appreciate their help in upgrading the roads in the North, but all we need is for them to come up with a solution because we cannot stop our services every time there's heavy rain," he said.

Parmod's Enterprises director Edwin Chand said they too had come across poor roads which had affected their bus services after heavy rain.

"We just hope that these poor roads do not become an issue this year and let's hope the FRA looks into our plight," Mr Chand said.

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer Jonathan Moore said current budget and workloads were stretched just to treat the existing aged, overloaded and deteriorated bridges.

"The priority remains based on ensuring these bridges servicing tens of thousands of people daily are attended to first, thereafter we can progressively address rural low volume communities as budget and priority allows," he said.

Mr Moore said most of the roads being complained about in the North were low level crossings and not bridges.

"The Irish crossings are designed to be overtopped by river flow during peak floods as well as this crossing there are a further three more splash crossings at Dreketilailai, Lekutulevu and Urata along the same river and they all go through the same problem," he said.

"One of the issues is that there is still a huge amount of driftwood lying in waterways and although we are trying to remove this with repeated attendance to clear piled up debris, there is still a likelihood that the next heavy rain will wash more debris down against crossings and may result in flooding with scour damage to the crossing approaches."

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